The following is a short story I wrote a little while back just for fun. I’m not completely horrified by the writing so I decided to share it with you all. :p
It follows the theme of “Talented“, a story I’m working on, in that it – well just read it. You’ll find out. 😉
“Cadence” – By Minerva Grace
The Home Tree Library was deserted, except for one small, flickering light at the end of the tables, by the large, panelled windows. Karina Aspenbloom leaned onto the thick papyrus book she was studying and massaged her temples.
“So if you combine water with light, you’ll get flowers…No that can’t be right,” she muttered to herself.
One of the fireflies in her lantern yawned widely. She grinned at him. “Fine, that’s enough studying for the day,” she said, picking up her books and the lantern.
Karina opened the large wooden door of the Library. A gust of chilly night air covered her bare arms with a frozen blanket. She instantly regretted wearing a sleeveless dress; Pixie Hollow was dark and at rest, but there was something sinister about the night that Karina had never liked, so she hurried back to the safety of her own home.
She flopped onto the bed and gazed up at the ceiling that her friend the art-talent had carved – myths and legends of Pixie Hollow that watched her as she slept.
Looking back at her stack of books, she sighed and made her way over to her desk. Cracking open the old pages to 165, her precise page, Karina read slowly:
“If elements silver and pixie dust were to react in a synthesis reaction, either –“ A yawn. A crinkle. A snore.
Rays of sunlight cascaded over her desk, creating a dance of light and shadow. It felt like a good day. Karina fluttered over to the windowsill, where she sang an angelic arpeggio.
A small bird – iridescent blue – hopped onto her windowsill and began chirping along to her melody, but there was a crash as her mahogany door nearly smashed into splinters. The bird squawked and flew away.
Karina cringed. She turned around slowly, bracing herself for the slender figure dressed in a proper blouse and pencil skirt tapping her shoes impatiently.
“Karina, how have your studies been going?” The figure was tall, slender, and shared Karina’s straight mahogany hair and amber eyes, but that’s where the similarities ended. Kylee Aspenbloom was all severity.
Her sister pulled her hair into her usual perfect bun, a frown permanently etched onto her features.
Kylee sauntered over to Karina’s desk, picking up a book, tsking disapprovingly. “Intermediate Chemistry? So elementary,” she grimaced. “I would have thought you’d have picked up the fundamentals by now.”
Karina Aspenbloom had not taken the road frequently travelled. No talent bubble reacted to her at her Arrival, so she decided to study all the talents to find out which was suitable for her. A unique situation.
“You want to be a scholar like me, don’t you K?” Kylee looked at her sister, daring her to disagree.
“Of course,” mumbled Karina.
“Good,” A glance, a whisper of a smile. “I expect to see you in the scholar wing of the Tree after your Selection.”
Her Selection was the next day.
Kylee Aspenbloom whisked out of the room, but Karina felt like she had sucked out all the oxygen.
Havendish Square was like the bubbly stream that ran through it – loud, cheerful, alive.
She sat watching passersby in the heart of the Hollow, wearing a dark gray ensemble that matched her mood perfectly.
“Hey, are you ok?” A peppy voice asked from beside her. Karina lifted her head, turning to look at a cheerful fairy – her hair was dip-dyed a bubble gum pink shade, matching her flouncy dress, wedge peep-toes, and grin.
Karina mumbled something that sounded like a yes.
A concerned look immediately replaced the smile. “Hey,” she said softly. “My name is Felicity – you can tell me what’s wrong.”
“But I just met you 2 seconds ago!”
Karina took a deep breath, her words tumbling out. They couldn’t seem to stop.
“It’s just that my Selection is tomorrow and my sister, who’s a really smart scholar is trying to force me to join her but the thing is I really don’t want to because I’m not smart and they won’t even want me.” A tear silently rolling down her cheek.
“Oh dear,” Felicity grabbed her new friend into an embrace and held her there as she sobbed.
“Its ok,” she said softly. “You don’t have to follow your sister. You know what your talents are and they don’t have to be the same as hers.”
Karina nodded violently. Her mahogany hair that she had pulled into a messy bun was now starting to come apart. Just like everything she had ever known.
“Let’s not think about her. What talent do you want?”
“I -,” Karina looked up at the sky. “I don’t know.” She had after all, only ever pursued academia ever since she Arrived.
“Think about it,” Felicity gave her a knowing smile and fluttered off.
“Huh,” Karina stared at the clouds racing each other in the clear blue vastness above and pondered: “What do I want to do?”
“Hello dear,” Queen Clarion smiled at her. “Have you decided?”
“I think so,” Karina looked at the toes of her mulberry flats.
“Then shall we begin?”
“Dearest fairies, and sparrowmen of all talents!” she cried. “Today we are celebrating the Talent Selection of Karina Aspenbloom!”
Cheers filled the stadium.
Karina scanned the crowd for her sister. Kylee was dressed per usual – maybe even sharper, if that were possible. Her eyes were piercing, daring her to choose something else.
“Karina dear, just pick up the bubble that you want. It won’t resist you,” Queen Clarion soothed.
Her breath. Where did her breath go? As the talent representatives placed their bubbles on the pedestals, Karina suddenly felt like all the air had rushed out of the clearing.
Tentatively, Karina averted her eyes from her older sister and stepped towards a purple bubble.
As she touched it, it popped against her skin and a cadence sounded in her ear. It was music. It was music that she had loved all along – she knew that now.
She was a music-talent.